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Fanshawe students place in top 10 in the Google Online Marketing Challenge

Melissa Novacaska | Interrobang | News | September 12th, 2016

Fanshawe students placed in the top 10 position in the world for the Google Online Marketing Challenge (GOMC), according to an Aug. 31 press release.

The GOMC is a unique opportunity for students to experience and create online marketing campaigns using Google AdWords and Google+, according to its website.

Over 100,000 students and professors from almost 100 countries have participated in the past eight years.

The teams are provided with a $250 AdWords advertising budget provided by Google, and the students are then expected to develop and run an online advertising campaign for a business or non-profit organization over the three week period.

The teams who developed and communicated the most successful campaigns won a number of prizes, including a trip to the Google offices, according to the website.

This year, a group from Fanshawe finished with a top 10 global finish in the AdWords Social Impact category for their work with the Kitchener Waterloo Symphony, the release said.

This was the first time this particular team went to the competition.

The teams consisted of Jordan Claxton, Jacob Pitt, Thomas Ashman and Anne-Marie MacNeill.

The students were under the supervision of Professor Liz Gray of the Lawrence Kinlin School of Business, under her search engine marketing class, for the AdWords portion of the challenge, and had the guidance of Jack Michienzi's social media marketing class, during the Google+ portion of the challenge.

According to participants, Ashman and MacNeill, they were assigned to work with the non-profit organization, Kitchener Waterloo Symphony, which was a great success.

“We were proud that the Kitchener Waterloo Symphony was a great success as a result of the GOMC,” both Ashman and MacNeill said.

With the two groups collaborating, the page views, sessions and percentage of new users visiting the non-profit website increased.

The Google AdWords campaign also generated online ticket sales, which resulted in a positive return on advertising spending, according to Ashman and MacNeill.

That resulted in an increased online brand awareness for the Symphony and ultimately gained the team the top 10 placement in the global challenge.

“Being in the top 10 was really exciting for me,” Ashman said. ‘We put a lot of effort into the GOMC and to have our AdWords campaign recognized as one of the exceptional standouts amongst schools all across the world was really rewarding.”

MacNeill shared the same sentiments.

“It was exciting to represent Fanshawe College and I feel really proud of our school and the work we accomplished,” she said.

The two agreed that the GOMC iis a significant event because it “recognizes the exceptional work that Liz gray continues to do for the Fanshawe brand as she had multiple finalists from her classes,” they said.

Though the students competed against others across the world, both Ashman and MacNeill said it's “awesome to see Fanshawe consistently placing near the top.”

“The GOMC gives students the opportunity to work with a real budget with real money on a real client. In my experience this is the best way to learn,” Ashman said.

MacNeill said the challenge also allows students to think strategically and creatively, while working with a real-world marketing campaign.

According to Professor Gray, she is “amazingly proud of her group of students.”

“It is thrilling for everyone to see Fanshawe College recognized on the global stage,” she said. “[The challenge is] very important as it involves spending real money and working with real businesses. It brings life to the curriculum.”

Another Fanshawe team also placed in the top 10 in the world in the same category as Ashman and MacNeill's group.

Students Nick Hollinger, Cam Kok, Nolan Leclerc and Ken Mc- Donald were recognized for their hard work with GoodWill Industries, according to the press release.

Two other Fanshawe teams were semi-finalists in the AdWords category, placing in the top 60 in the world.
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